Free Summer Concerts in Eastern NC

In Eastern North Carolina, many cities and towns hold free concerts and outdoor music events in Spring or Summer.  This article lists of some of these upcoming free concerts.

Note that concerts may be free, but many events do not allow food or drinks to be brought to an event.  Most events have local food vendors and other vendors, which are made available so that attendees may shop-local during the event.

If we’ve missed a local, public, free concert series, please let the Editor know and we may add it to this article.

Rocky Mount NC — “Downtown Live!” Concert Series

Downtown Live! is the summer music series presented by PNC and hosted by the city of Rocky Mount. Concerts are held on the Imperial Centre lawn. The Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciencesis located at 270 Gay Street, Rocky Mount NC

Doors open at 5pm with music starting at 6pm. The family friendly music series is free and open to the public. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for your comfort on the lawn. Food concessions will be available. For more information, visit or call 252.972.1151.

The 2016 Downtown Live! schedule is:

  • Thursday, June 9 — featuring Jim Quick & Coastline
  • Thursday, June 23 — feature the Castaways
  • Thursday, July 7 — featuring the Band of Oz
  • Thursday, July 21 — featuring Liquid Pleasure
  • Thursday, August 4 — featuring  Hip Pocket
  • Thursday, August 18 — featuring The Tams
  • Thursday, September 1 — featuring Steve Owens and Summertime
  • Thursday, September 15 — featuring the East Coast Rhythm and Blues Band
  • Thursday, September 29 — with the Embers featuring Craig Woolard


Clayton NC — “Town Square Concert Series”

The Clayton Downtown Development Association (CDDA) holds this free Concert Series on the Town Square, 110 W Main Street, downtown Clayton NC.

Concerts are held from May through September. This year, the setup has been expanded to accommodate more vendor and nonprofit booths, and more food and beverages sellers. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, leave coolers at home. The Town Square opens at 5:30pm.

The first concert took place last week, but there are more coming up.

  • Thursday, June 16 — Southern Culture on the Skids
  • Thursday, July 21 — Ken Knox & Co with The Executives
  • Saturday, August 20 — Kasey Tyndall with Big River Band
  • Thursday, September 15 — Natural Wonder, the ultimate Stevie Wonder cover band


Goldsboro NC — “Center Street Jam”

Downtown Goldsboro’s summer concert series is free, with concerts every-other Thursday. Concerts are open to the public, and run 6-9pm.

Bring a lawn chair, friends and family, and the town recommends bringing “dancing shoes.” The event offers music, kids activities, and cold drinks and food available for purchase from local vendors (or possibly food trucks). Leave coolers and pets at home.

Head to 100 N Center Street, Goldsboro NC, and enjoy the tunes.

For more information, visit (Ed. Note: The “dgdc” stands for Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation.)

Concerts began in April, with more scheduled through August. The 2016 schedule is:

  • Thursday, April 21 – Mighty Saints of Soul
  • Thursday, May 5 – Malpass Brothers
  • Thursday, May 19 – The Embers
  • Thursday, June 2 – Spare Change
  • Thursday, June 16 – Legacy Motown Revue
  • Thursday, June 30 – Hip Pocket
  • Thursday, July 14 – Band of Oz
  • Thursday, July 28 – Jim Quick & Coastline
  • Thursday, August 11 – Blake Kearney Band


Wilson NC — “Downtown Alive”

This Historic Downtown Wilson event offers a “tradition of food, beverages, dancing and fun at Downtown Alive!”

The fun begins at 5:30pm. Bring a chair or blanket and some sunscreen, but leave coolers, and pets at home. The town notice also encourages concert-goers to bring their dance moves!

The Downtown Alive events are held on the grassy lot at 210 Tarboro Street, in downtown Wilson NC. Adjacent parking is available in the Centre Brick lot and the BB&T lot.

In case of rain, concerts will be rescheduled, not relocated. The 2016 series began in April. These remaining concerts are scheduled:

  • Wednesday, June 1 — The Embers featuring Craig Woolard
  • Wednesday, June 15 — North Tower
  • Wednesday, July 13 — Jim Quick & Coastline (Ed. Note: Originally scheduled for May 4, the event was moved to this rain date.)

The website is undergoing a makeover. Their Facebook page provides event updates.

Wilson NC — “Summer Concert Series” by the Freeman Roundhouse Museum

Summer concerts are planned every Sunday through July 3, 2016. The concerts are free at the Oliver Nestus Freeman Roundhouse Museum, located at 1202 Nash Street E, Wilson NC.

  • Sunday, May 1 — Two of a Kind
  • Sunday, May 8 — Steven Pender Trio
  • Sunday, May 15 — Mr. “Z” and Family
  • Sunday, May 22 — The Breeze Band
  • Sunday, May 29 — TBA
  • Sunday, June 5 — The Triple Wide Band
  • Sunday, June 12 — Valerie Woodard
  • Sunday, June 19 — The Etheridge Sisters
  • Sunday, June 26 — The Moonlight Swing Band
  • Sunday, July 3 — Family Day! (Ed. Note: Independence celebration.)

For more information, visit the museum’s website.


Wake Forest NC — “Six Sundays in Spring”

The 2016 Six Sundays in Spring concert series is scheduled for consecutive Sundays.  The 2016 concerts began on April 24. The final concert is coming up May 29, 2016, featuring JamRock.

The public is invited to bring “the kids, friends, a picnic, and a blanket” and settle in for a free concert starting at 5pm. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase, from vendors or food trucks, or bring your own picnic.

Sponsored by Wake Forest ARTS, these free concerts take place at the E. Carroll Joyner Park’s Amphitheater, 701 Harris Road, Wake Forest NC.

In the event of rain, the concert may be relocated to the backup location: Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks Street, Wake Forest NC.

For more information, visit

Check out the town’s “Six Sundays in Spring Promotional Video” below.



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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.